Twiddle: Plump, Chapter 2

Twiddle:  Plump, Chapter 2
Writer:  Kyler Klix

Twiddle fans have been awaiting the feast that is Plump Chapter 2,  a follow-up to their December, 2015 release, Plump Chapter 1. The album showcases the band’s versatility at creating different types of music.

Labeling this album as one genre would do it no justice, as it covers so many – including rock, reggae, some heavier stuff, and even classical music. Twiddle continues to do what they do best:  bring funky jams with tons of energy. And the band took it in a different direction from Plump Chapter 1. This one includes more instrumentals and a few stories about fictional characters. Chapter 2 is sure to be a high point in Twiddle history, as they have raised the bar with this masterpiece.

We “Enter” Twiddle’s Chapter 2 with a beautiful piano instrumental, played by Ryan Dempsey (keys). The short tune is a good introduction to the album, and named appropriately.

Twiddle brings the goods right away with “Orlando’s.” With a long instrumental intro, the band brings you through three various jams that flow nicely leading into the lyrics. The band is sure to give longtime fans goosebumps as Mihali Savoulidis (guitar, vocals) sings about a place where the characters from his songs meet up for a drink. The Jamflowman, Hattibagen McRat, Carter Candlestick, Cabbageface, Tiberius and everyone’s favorite character, Frankenfoote, all are included in this captivating tune. The chorus is lovely and invokes  so much happiness hearing about these old “frends” meeting up. This song will be a fan-favorite and will surely bring new fans along to the party. New fans will be in for a real treat when they go back and listen to all the songs used in “Orlando’s.”

Things get real heavy on the hard-hitting “Juggernaut.” The tune comes at you like an angry pile of bricks. It reminds many fans of Rage Against the Machine – from the fast-paced tempo, nice hard bassline from Zdenek Gubb (bass) and how Savoulidis raps the lyrics. There is even some high-def whammy pedal going on. The song rocks and the lyrics send the powerful message that matches the tone. The lyrics are politically charged and a sign of the times. Twiddle wants to make a statement with this, and that is they are going to fight for what they believe in. However, the placement of this track so early in the album is questionable, as it doesn’t flow very well into one of the happier songs of the album: “Moments.”

The band had been playing “Moments” for a while before the release of Chapter 2. Fans who listened live were able to see the evolution of this song. The album version sounds polished and complete. As a pleasant reggae tune with a catchy chorus that includes horns, this song (originally called “L.A. Beach Song,” according to Twiddle fan page utwiddle.net) will put you in a good mood feeling like you are at the beach with your favorite drink.

If your favorite drink is milk, then you are in for a treat. The music gets really funky and exciting on “Milk.” This jam is pure sex. Everything about it is amazing. Try to listen to it and not dance. It is irresistible to play air guitar or air drums. You will be all over the place on this one. It’s the type of song you have to finish in your car after you reach your destination. It’s the type of song you get to the end and play it again. With guest Tim Palmieri of Kung Fu included, the guitars sound wild and just keeps building you up. The two guitars together bring a powerful harmony. This song deserves a warning next to it, saying it may cause permanent stink face because it is so nasty. The shredding is something else on this track, and it truly is spectacular. Watch out when Twiddle starts bringing “Milk” to shows. It’s gonna get wet.

The awesomeness continues into “Nicodemus Portulay.” The song starts heavy and hard. Not as angry as “Juggernaut,” but you know from the tone of this one that Nicodemus means business. This song is entertaining. The way it goes from heavy and flows into a smooth chorus that rounds it out. Savoulidis’s lyrics about a character lost inside a mind are intelligent and fascinating. The middle of this song gives each band member a little solo burst as things get instrumental, almost like a little jam session in the middle of a studio song. It sounds perfect, and will probably only get crazier when the band plays this one live. “Nicodemus Portulay” is sure to be a song every fan will want to hear live.

“New Sun” is the first track Brook Jordan (drums, vocals) shows off his talents as a singer.  With a distinguished guitar riff and a pleasant melody, Jordan sings about a new day and keeping his head up. It’s a positive message with strong lyrics – a nice, easy-listening song with traditional structure. The bridge coming from Dempsey gives it a little more flavor, and a coda for Jordan to bring us home.

Dempsey shows off his fine piano playing on “Forevers.” As an instrumental song he wrote for his love, his passion shines through his fingers. The soft, soothing sounds are reminiscent of classical music. As an epic piano song, it shows another different side of Twiddle. You can see the classical music influences through this band, and this song brings out great talent and emotion from Dempsey.

A song to surely brighten up your day is “The Fantastic Tale of Ricky Snickle.” The lyrics tell the story of a guy who had an adventurous life as a gangster who turned an honest living.  It’s interesting to hear what happens to Mr. Snickle, but this song goes a few different places musically. Jumping out of typical song structure, this song jams and gets dark. It builds you up and down and takes you for a short musical journey.

Dempsey leads the way into “Peas and Carrots,” an elegant instrumental with a few different layers. The chorus on this one will get stuck in your head. The guitar and piano are very uplifting. You might find yourself trying to make up some lyrics to go with this one. The instruments go well together and include some horns on the track to jazz things up a bit.

When you first hear “Drifter” you might wonder if this song was a hit already – this song is hot, with a sort-of snazzy flair from the 80s; you could picture the Jordan dressed real classy, singing in the streets for a music video. His voice is real smooth, different from his typical style. The lyrics are solid, as usual from a Brook tune, in that they are relatable to the fans and have good meaning behind them.

“Blunderbuss” is a song to pump you up. The way it begins with a rapidly increasing pace, then bursts into some heavy chords is dynamic. The strong keys and guitar on this one build you up, and brings you higher, into the sky. Then the middle of the song you’re just cruising around flying, looking down and seeing all the wonderful stuff in the world.  This is a really cool song if you let the “Blunderbuss” take your imagination for a ride.

“Fat Country Baby” is what the band calls their barnyard stomper, a short goofy tune that makes you wonder if you’re still listening to Twiddle. But of course it’s Twiddle, because these guys are know how to have fun and be silly. They show their comedic side with their weird ad libs and banter in the background of this bluegrass tune. The only real distinguishable lyrics are “Ain’t nothing sweeter than a fat country baby eatin’ peaches off the hardwood floor.” The song is very short at 1:11, and seems placed appropriately near the end of the album.

You might think a song titled “Dinner Fork” is ordinary, but this song is nothing of the sort. An instrumental, this song has a lot of depth and some real cool, crazy sounds. Whatever is going on with the synthesizer on top of the piano and everything is very compelling. The song sounds like a deep jam they are already in. It’s a jam you’re stuck to. There’s no leaving this song. As it continues you just want to see it keep unfolding.

Well, the last song isn’t titled exit, but it’s a beautiful tune that brings the album full circle going back to track No. 1. “Purple Forrest” sounds like an emotional song you would hear during any touching moment. The song soothes your soul and will mellow you out after all the excitement you just listened to. A nice, short pleasant song was the perfect ending for Chapter 2.

With so many varieties of songs, if you ask a group of Twiddle fans what their favorite song of the album was, you probably would get all different answers. This album truly has something for everyone and is a real treat. With the professional production and time it took to complete, the wait was well worth it.

The bar is raised high, and fans will truly cherish this one for a lifetime. It will be exciting to see Twiddle evolve and add to the chapters.

The album will be a double-disc that includes Chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 1 was remastered and re-released with Chapter 2 after the band teamed up with Sono Recording Group – particularly Claude Villani and Ron Saint Germain. Visit twiddlemusic.com to purchase. 

Twiddle – “Plump: Chapter 2”

  1. Enter
  2. Orlando’s
  3. Juggernaut
  4. Moments
  5. Milk (ft. Tim Palmieri)
  6. Nicodemus Portulay
  7. New Sun
  8. Forevers
  9. The Fantastic Tale of Ricky Snickle
  10. Peas and Carrots
  11. Drifter
  12. Blunderbuss
  13. Fat Country Baby
  14. Dinner Fork
  15. Purple Forrest

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